Proverbs 16
Proverbs 18

Proverbs 17

SCRIPTURE 
You will keep your friends
    if you forgive them,
but you will lose your friends
    if you keep talking about
    what they did wrong.

OBSERVATION
Unforgiveness destroys community

UNDERSTANDING
It has been God's intention to make us in the image of His Son, to become more Christ-like is the goal of every Christ-follower.  So we pray, "Let me be more like you Jesus!"  And God answers those prayers by placing us in a local church family.  What better crucible is there for shaping us into His image?  Think about it, in the community of believers, although we have been declared perfect we are in the now and the not yet - we are becoming.  So unvariably in the community of believers you will have disagreements, be offended, hurt, slighted, disappointed...the list goes on.  This is God's plan to make us in His image because we cannot live out forgiveness unless we have been hurt or offended.  We cannot show the love of God that manifests itself in forgive and forget unless we have an offense to forgive and never talk about again.

Do you see how important community is?  The very thing we hate about it is the reason God has given it to us.  It forces us to chose to live out the character of Christ in our lives.

LIFE APPLICATION
A Christian outside of a community of Christ-followers is not fully developing the character of Christ in their life.  Don't let it happen to you.  Forgive and forget and allow God's nature to be fully formed within you.

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